I have the same issue with making larger and larger laser projects. When it was warm out I would just open the garage door and have a box fan moving fresh air. Now that it is colder outside in upstate NY, 11°F this morning, this is not an option.
I have some parts being delivered today to build a fume extractor which will cut down on the smoke and smell. This will only be used for wood and not be used for plastics or other stuff that will give off toxic fumes as I am not planning to vent it outside. However it will have an activated charcoal filter.
Once I am finished I will post the project in the forum if it ends up working. I will probably do the same if it does not to show what didn’t work for me… that’s how we all learn together
I have don the same as Kyle, jsut opened by garage door and two shop fans sucking it out and a small table fan blowing on the surface. I plan on installing an extractor port/similar to ductwork for dryer to the out side and then using some left over computer fans to move the air and place it near the project work…
@DrSys I was looking at that one and decided to go with this instead as it uses an EC motor and appears to be better built. I also got the AC Infinity hose and charcoal filter to get rid of the smoke smell and any possible carcinogens which may be in the smoke. I plan to use a pre-filter as well to grab the bulk of the smoke and extend the life of the carbon filter.
Hard be be 100% sure of the filters ability to get rid of all the smell at this point because I’m doing 1h 35m engrave on a cutting board and have had to switch hands holding the hose a couple times and with the hose not being down by the surface, there has been some smoke not getting sucked up.
But I’m 45 minutes in and I haven’t had to open a door yet, so I consider it a viable proof of concept and a huge improvement over nothing.
I feel having a dust boot style end will make a huge improvement. Fume extraction is tricky and is only effective a couple inches away from the end of the hose. The closer the better.
I use this fan and it is great. Quite quiet. I also originally used the same filter. However after a couple of months of use, it did not trap the odor well anymore. I was venting inside at that point. Once the filter started to not work as well and since I only work on wood and not plastics, I eliminated the filter and now vent outside.
@Jeff62 - I figured the filter would have a life span of a couple months depending on usage. I believe replacements are anywhere from $30-$50 depending on brand. Was planning on just figuring that in as shop cost on any future laser projects as I do not have any good means to vent outside as of yet.
What do you have for a way to attach the hose to the gantry/z-axis and an end to get the suction close to the laser?
I just finished building my CNC enclosure and incorporated an old 10" in-line duct fan into the top capped with a piece of plywood with an adapter for 4" flexible duct leading outside my shop. My first test of it was confusing as I seemed to be getting air pulled into the enclosure but I worked out that what was happening was the fan was blowing air onto the bottom of the adapter panel and bouncing back, making an air torus. The fan still draws but the efficiency is way down. Now I read that best extraction is from inches away. Am I going to have to totally rethink this? Still have a few days to go before I mount the machine and laser in the cabinet and start doing tests.
Keep in mind you need “make up” air for the fan to work. If your enclosure is too tight it can’t draw in air and renders the fan ineffective. This can also be true of the workshop as well, if the envelope is too tight it will try to find make up air from anywhere it can which can include back drafting down a chimney for example. A 10" fan will typically move a lot of air.
Way back in my past I worked on a movie 24 movie theater building where the engineers designed the amount of make up air to push fresh air into the building (300 people in a closed room)… it was so much air that the doors which swung outwards would not close fully.
I think what I’m going to do is just go for it as is and not get my knickers in a knot until the system proves insufficient. I hadn’t considered makeup air but I’m not making the enclosure too tight and worrying about air flow in my laughably drafty 100 year old garage would resemble sticking your finger in a file. Thank you for pointing it out though, so many things to consider.
I did make a cardboard prototype which mounted in the Suck-It arms and went under the Z-Axis with a 4" duct outlet going up the back of the gantry, however I gave up after realizing the smoke would plug up the charcoal scrubber filter after about 2 hours of laser use (I was doing some large personalized cutting boards). I did not have a good location to vent to the outside in the location where my 1F was and was planning on adding a CO2 laser to the shop soon anyways, so I just went forward with that and vented it outside where it was.
With the addition of the new higher wattage JTech diode lasers, I bet there is even more of a need for something like this. Maybe I should dust off the old design and finish it up…
@Kanova802 I ended up making a clip that attaches to the front of the laser mounting bracket for a 2.5" hose that goes to my Fein Turbo vac. Works great. Here is a rendering of it. Super simple, works with the existing holes and hardware that comes with the JTech.